Solar Hot Water

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What is a Solar Water Heater?
In simple terms, a solar hot water system is a 'hybrid' water heater. In other words, it's a hot water system that utilizes two types of energy working together to maintain a water temperature of around 65 Degrees C - Solar energy and some form of purchased energy. This is usually Gas or Electricity. As general rule of thumb, over a 12 month period a correctly sized solar water should obtain around 80% of its energy requirements from the Sun and around 20% from purchased energy. In some areas, savings can be as high as 90%.

To find out which system best suits your needs, contact us on 1300 397 763
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How does a solar water heater work?
You have two basic options in two configurations when choosing your new solar water heater
* Open or Closed loop split 'forced circulation' system
With this option, you'll have a hot water storage tank located at ground level, connected to between 1 - 3 solar collectors located on your roof. The solar collectors are heated by the sun during the day. Sensors located on the solar collectors and the hot water storage tank constantly monitor water temperature and available solar energy and feed this information to a solar controller, located at the hot water storage tank. A small circulating pump, is connected to the solar controller and is used to circulate either water or a heat transfer fluid through the copper tubes located within the solar collectors when there is enough solar energy available to heat the water inside the storage tank.
* Open or Closed Loop close coupled 'thermo-siphon' system with this option, you'll have both the hot water storage tank and the solar collectors located on the roof, with the storage tank located above the solar collectors.

With the 'Open loop' models, working on the principle that hot water is less dense and subsequently lighter than cold water, a copper pipe feeds the coolest water from the bottom of the hot water storage tank into the bottom of the solar collectors.

As the sun heats the solar collectors, the water inside the tubes located within the solar collectors heats up and becomes 'lighter' and starts to rise up the tubes. Another smaller copper tube located on the opposite side at the top of the solar collector allows the heated water to rise up into the hotter part of the storage tank. This process is known as thermo-siphon.

With the 'Closed loop' models, the storage tank is fitted with a heat exchanger connected to the solar collectors. The heat exchanger and the solar collectors are filled with a mixture of water and a food grade glycol. Working on the principle that hot fluid is less dense and subsequently lighter than cold fluid, a copper pipe feeds the coolest fluid from the bottom of the heat exchanger located around the storage tank into the bottom of the solar collectors.

As the sun heats the solar collectors, the fluid inside the tubes located within the solar collectors heats up and becomes 'lighter' and starts to rise up the tubes. Another smaller copper tube located on the opposite side at the top of the solar collector allows the heated fluid to rise up into the hotter part of the heat exchanger surrounding the storage tank. As this heated fluid is passing through the heat exchanger it passes it's heat into the stored water. This process is also known as closed loop or heat exchange thermo-siphon.

For more information on which system is suitable for your area, simply give us a call on 1300 397 763
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What does Open Loop & Closed Loop mean?
In simple terms, an 'open loop' system is heated by taking the water stored in the hot water tank and passing it through the solar collectors, where it's heated before returning to the hot water tank. This is the most popular type of system and is widely used in most areas with generally good water quality and low frost risk areas.

A 'closed loop' system employs a heat exchanger either within, or surrounding the storage tank. A heat exchange fluid comprising a mixture of water and food grade glycol is passed through the solar collectors and the stored water is heated when the fluid passes through the heat exchanger. This type of system is generally employed in areas classed as 'hard water' or harsh frost areas.

To find out which system best suits your location, simply give us a call on 1300 397 763
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What's a 'booster'?
As a rough rule of thumb, on a clear sunny day the solar component of your new solar water heater will generally raise the stored water temperature to around twice the ambient temperature of the day. Your 'booster', utilizing either Gas or Electricity, ensures that the water delivered to your taps is always heated to a 'useable' temperature.

To find out which booster option will best suit your needs, give us a call on 1300 397 763
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Should I leave my booster turned off to maximize solar savings?
Your new solar water heater is designed to utilize two energy sources operating simultaneously to provide you with energy efficient hot water. The system is thermostatically controlled so it operates automatically to maximize energy efficiency, while ensuring you always have adequate hot water. As such, to obtain the maximum benefits of owning a solar water heater, you'll need to leave your booster turned ON.

If you'd like to discuss how a Solar Hot Water system can reduce your water heating bills by up to 80% or more with the booster left ON, call us on 1300 397 763
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How can I save money if I have to use a booster all the time?
Consider this - if you use a normal Gas or Electric water heater, then 100% of the energy required to heat your water from cold up to 65 Degrees Celsius will need to be purchased. With both gas & electricity prices continuing to rise, this can cost you a lot of money every year. When you add solar energy into the equation, you can reduce the amount of purchased energy required by up to 80% or more. In some cases, solar contribution can be as high as 90%. That adds up to a substantial monetary saving.

If you'd like to discuss how a Solar Hot Water system can reduce your water heating bills by up to 80% or more with the booster left ON, call us on 1300 397 763.
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What happens if there's no sun, or it's the middle of winter?
You'll always have hot water. Your new solar water heater is designed to provide you with all the energy efficient hot water you need 24 hours a day, 12 months a year, come rain, hail or shine.

To find out how you can get energy efficient hot water even in the middle of a cold winters night, call us now on 1300 397 763
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What happens if the pilot light goes out on my Gas booster?
The Eternity Gas booster supplied with your new solar hot water system uses advanced electronic ignition, which negates the need for a pilot light. This ensures that gas is only used when you're using the water heater, rather than needlessly being wasted and also eliminates the age old problem of pilot lights going out.

To find out which system best suits your location, simply give us a call on 1300 397 763
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How hot will the water get?
As with all 'storage' type water heaters your new solar hot water system will heat water to a minimum of 65 Degrees Celsius to ensure that harmful bacteria is eliminated. In summer months, or during extended periods of high temperatures the stored water can attain temperatures up to and exceeding 80 Degrees Celsius.

However, as all our solar water heaters are fitted with anti scalding valves at the time of installation, you can rest assured that the hot water delivered to your home is tempered down so it won't exceed 50 Degrees Celsius and subsequently won't scald. As such young children and the frail & elderly can safely operate hot water taps.

To find out how to protect you and your family from scalding hot water, call us now on 1300 397 763
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What's better - having my tank on the roof, or on the ground?
This really comes down to your personal choice and the design of your home. As you'd expect from a world leading manufacturer, there are a number of different solar products to suit each customer's requirements. Ultimately both roof & ground mounted systems provide you with energy efficient hot water and both can be either gas or electrically boosted.

Generally, systems installed with the tank at ground level provide your home with a level of aesthetics that some customers prefer, although if you have limited space at ground level and your roof is structurally strong enough, then a roof mounted tank may be your preference.

To discuss your preferred options, simply give us a call on 1300 397 763.
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Will my new solar water heater power my whole home?
There are two types of solar 'collectors' or 'panels' available on the market - solar photovoltaic (PV), which make low voltage electricity and solar thermal, which generates heat. As the large amounts of energy required to heat water can't be efficiently generated through PV type panels, your new Solar hot water system is powered by solar thermal collectors. As such, your new solar water heater will provide you with all the hot water you need, but won't provide electricity.

If you'd like further information on Solar Electricity, take a look at the frequently asked questions on our Solar Electricity (PV) section on this site, or call us now on 1300 397 763
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What's better, Solar Hot Water or Solar Electricity?
This is an easy one - they both provide substantial reductions in your purchased energy costs and your household greenhouse gas emissions. They simply provide energy for different functions. A solar water heater can't provide electricity and a solar electricity system can't provide hot water.

When you install both systems on your home, as many of our customers choose to do, you'll be reducing your overall energy costs by a substantial amount. This'll reduce your household running costs and your green house gas emissions.

If you'd like to save money on the purchase price of both solar hot water & solar electricity, call us now on 1300 397 763
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I've heard that 'evacuated tube' type collectors have better performance.
When you purchase a solar water heater, you are provided with a system that comprises a number of different components, all working together to provide energy efficient hot water.
* Solar Collectors, which use the suns energy to heat water.
* Insulated hot water storage tank to store the heated water.
* Electric or Gas Booster, to ensure that the hot water delivered to the home is at a useable temperature.

To obtain the maximum solar performance possible, each of these components must be correctly matched to each other - and the complete system needs to be both cost effective to purchase, and economical to run over the long term.

For a detailed comparison between our range of collectors and other types, simply call us on 1300 397 763
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How much money will a solar water heater save me?
Exact dollar amounts are difficult to calculate due to the vagaries of differing usage patterns, varying electricity & gas costs and the unstable nature of weather patterns and differing locations. However as a rough rule of thumb, hot water can account for up to 30% of a household's energy bills. A correctly sized solar hot water may reduce your hot water bills by up to 80% and even more in the Northern areas of Australia.

To obtain information on energy savings in your area, call us now on 1300 397 763
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What size system will best suit my needs?
This will depend on a number of factors including-
* Your geographical location
* How many people live in your home and frequency and number of guests.
* The number of bathrooms you have.
* Whether you're utilizing Electricity or Gas as your 'booster'

We would suggest that a simple cost & obligation free site inspection and hot water audit of your home would provide an accurate indication of the most suitable system for your particular needs.

To book in a cost & obligation free home visit, give us a call on 1300 397 763
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What are the environmental benefits of a solar water heater?
A solar water heater may reduce your home's greenhouse gas emissions by in excess of 3.5 tonnes per year. That's the same as removing a small family car from the road. Plus, the energy used to manufacture our systems may be recouped in less than a year.

To find out the environmental benefits of a solar water in your area, give us a call on 1300 397 763.
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Will my solar water heater be damaged by freezing conditions?
'Closed loop' solar water heaters are so advanced they can be installed in all frost prone areas regardless of how low the temperatures get. By utilizing a food grade Glycol in a separate heat exchange circuit, your new solar water heater would continue to provide hot water in Australia's snow fields in the middle of the coldest winter. As long as the correct model is selected for the area, your new solar hot water system can be guaranteed to temperatures down to 40 degrees C below zero.

To find out how our solar hot water systems are able to protect against frost damage in areas where other cheaper systems fail, call us today on 1300 397 763
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Will my solar hot water heater be damaged by 'hard water'?
'Closed loop' heat exchange systems can be utilized on water quality ranging from the highly calcified bore water regions of Australia's deserts to the 'Stainless Steel eating' high Chloride areas of coastal Australia. As long as the correct model is selected for the area, your new solar hot water system can be guaranteed on any potable water supply in Australia.

To find out how 'closed loop' systems can be installed in areas where some other brands don't dare to go, call us today on 1300 397 763
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What direction should my new collectors face?
As Australia is in the southern hemisphere, to obtain maximum performance solar collectors need to be installed facing North, or as close to North as possible. In general, facing collectors in a North Easterly or North Westerly direction will have very little impact on the overall performance, however facing them directly East or West can reduce their efficiency. In these instances, solar performance can be improved by the addition of another collector to compensate, or the collectors can be installed on an 'A' frame facing North.

Under no circumstances, should solar collectors be installed facing in a Southerly direction.

To find out if your roof is suitable for maximizing solar efficiency, give us a call on 1300 397 763.
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Is my roof strong enough to install a solar water heater?
If you've decided to install one of our 'Split' systems where only the solar collectors are installed on the roof, then in the overwhelming majority of cases there'll be no need to strengthen or modify your roof.

If you've decided to install one of our thermo-siphon systems, where both the tank and collectors are located on the roof, then some strengthening may be required as the total weight of the system can be up to 500kg. A quick inspection by a local structural engineer can determine what your best options are here.

To get more information, or to arrange a cost & obligation free site inspection, simply give us a call on 1300 397 763
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Can I get a Government Rebate?
There are a number of different Government Rebate schemes operating around Australia at any one time of varying values up to $1600.00. Both Federal & some State Governments have rebates to suit particular applications. As these rebates can change regularly, please use the links in the 'Rebate' section of our website to find out which rebates you may be eligible to receive?
For further information on what rebates you may be eligible for, simply give us a call on 1300 397 763
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What are Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)?
Small Scale Technology Certificates, or STC's, are utilized by large commercial users of electricity to meet stringent renewable energy targets set by the Australian Federal Government. Failure to meet these targets can result in large fines by these 'liable parties'. As a consequence, these 'liable parties' need to source their STC's from small domestic renewable energy systems such as solar water heaters and solar electricity systems.

In simple terms, one Small Scale Technology Certificate or 'STC' represents one megawatt hour of electricity generated (or displaced) from an approved renewable energy source such as a solar hot water system. The more efficient the solar hot water system, the more STC's it is able to generate. As a general rule, when you purchase a solar hot water system, you're are able to create up to 10 years worth of calculated STC's upon installation.

You can then gain a financial benefit from assigning your right to create STC's for your solar hot water system to reduce the purchase price of your new system. Depending on where you live, the system purchased and the value of the STC's at the time of assigning them, you may be able to reduce the purchase price by thousands of dollars. It should be noted that the value of the STC's does fluctuate depending on demand by the 'liable parties'.

For further information on how much you can save by assigning your STC's, simply call us on 1300 397 763
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What are Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates?
Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEEC's) are generated in a similar manner to the Small Scale Technology Certificates, but are specific to the installation of energy efficient products in Victoria only. As with STC's, you may be able to reduce the purchase price of your new solar water heater by assigning the VEEC's generated when the system is installed. Like REC's, the value of the VEEC's is highly variable.
For further information on how much you can save, simply call us on 1300 397 763
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Can I install my new solar hot water system myself?
Like any hot water system, your new solar water heater can only be installed by qualified trades people. Your new system may require the services of people with the appropriate plumbing, gas and electrical qualifications.

'Home handyman' type installations are very dangerous and illegal in all States & Territories. Rebates and Small Scale Technology Certificates are also not available in these cases.

For more information on our supply & installation services, simply give us a call on 1300 397 763
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Why should I request a cost & obligation free site inspection?
Just like our range of solar water heaters, types of homes & families and their hot water usage patterns are many and varied. What's ideal for one home may be unsuitable for another.

We've found that a simple site inspection and audit of your hot water usage patterns provides our customers with all the information they need to make an informed decision on the system that best suits their needs.

We'll look at things like the size of your home, type of roofing material, location of bathrooms, existing water heater type, availability of gas or off peak power, water pressure, condition of your electrical meter box, the amount of people in your family, your hot water usage, etc, etc.

Once we've undertaken your cost & obligation free inspection, you'll have an exact cost of your preferred system, including all the rebate & incentive scheme information you're eligible for and total supplied & installed costs after rebates & incentives. You'll then be able to make an informed decision based on costs, estimated payback periods and your lifestyle.

For a cost & obligation free site inspection and hot water audit, simply call us on 1300 397 763
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I'm getting Solar when my current water heater breaks down - how soon can my new system be installed?
Hot water systems always seem to fail at the most inappropriate times, such as weekends, the middle of the night, or in the morning when you're getting ready for work. As a consequence, customers quite often make the mistake of making a rushed decision to replace their existing water heater with another gas or electricity guzzler.
To alleviate this rushed decision, we've found that replacing your old water heater before it fails, to be the best decision our customers can make. This is especially the case for water heaters that have hit the 10 years or older age, when they traditionally start to fail. By replacing your existing money burner now, you can make sure that you never find yourself making a rushed decision and you can ensure that you'll get the best water heater to meet your needs both now and in the future.
For a cost & obligation free site inspection before your old money burner fails, simply call us on 1300 397 763
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Will my new solar collectors be damaged by hail or storms?
Strict Australian Standards guidelines ensure that any solar collectors sold in Australia are designed to withstand the ravages of our climate, including things like wind, rain and hail. As an added measure, the glass on your new solar collectors can be covered by your household insurance.

For detailed information on our warranty policy, simply call us on 1300 397 763

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What's the warranty of my new solar water heater?
Your new solar hot system is supplied a 12 month comprehensive warranty covering all parts and labour, with a further 5-6 years warranty on both the hot water storage tank and the solar collectors.

For detailed information on our warranty policy, simply call us on 1300 397 763
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